Why Yoruba Obas Inherit Wives Of Late Kings


The Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oba Victor Kiladejo, gave an insight into that traditional practice where the wives of a king that passed on are inherited by the new king.

It is a traditional norm for kings to inherit the wives of former kings. Tell us about this.
It happens in all Yoruba land. When an Oba transits, the new Oba inherits the wives and children of all the past Obas. What that means is that it is the responsibility of the king to provide their material needs, and the new king is expected to treat the inherited wives both as his ‘mothers’ as well as ‘wives’. The important thing is the care for them.
That is why the Yorubas don’t say an Oba dies, an Oba can only transit, and when that happens, whatever was left by the past Oba, the new Oba would have to inherit them. It is continuous. Inheritance, in this case, means that you take up the responsibility of providing their material needs.

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